Get Smart for a Sustainable Future: Renewable Diesel

News December 2022

November 21, 2022

This series of articles from the DGA’s new Sustainable Future Committee is designed to help raise awareness of what productions can do to reduce carbon emissions and waste in film and television production to mitigate the adverse impacts on the environment. In this installment, we look at how Renewable Diesel can help achieve that goal.

One of the most important conversations in our race against climate change is the transition to clean energy. As leaders in our industry, we must educate ourselves to usher in practices that demonstrate what our film and television sets can look like as we meet this transformation. Over the next few years, infrastructure will become available to electrify our fleets and power stations. Meanwhile, using Renewable Diesel is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote health and safety on our sets.

Renewable Diesel (RD) is a drop-in non-petroleum fuel that can be used without modifications in any diesel engine including production trucks and generators. It is chemically identical to fossil-based diesel and can be used interchangeably while burning cleaner than regular diesel. It is not biodiesel and does not have issues with bacteria growth, cold temperatures, or increased maintenance as can be experienced with biodiesel.

By using existing, above ground, organic matter instead of extracting more fossil fuels, RD reduces production emissions by up to 80%compared to petroleum diesel. Other emissions benefits include reductions in pollution; hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).

Renewable diesel is widely used in California (Phillips 66, Conoco, 76) and the UK, and can be available in New York City and Vancouver with industry demand.  It is used on major studio lots in LA and is the primary diesel fuel for the city operations of Oakland, Long Beach, Beverly Hills, and Vancouver to name a few.

Ask your production to use suppliers of renewable diesel and demonstrate demand to fuel suppliers to increase availability. RD can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of our production and reduce air pollution on set, including particulate matter from the exhaust diesel vehicles, which lead to premature deaths throughout the world each year.

Click here for more about the DGA Sustainable Future Committee.